Day1: what a day. I crawled into bed dog tired and found I could not sleep with out a little debrief first so I just jotted down some thoughts about the sights on my way from Port-Au-Prince to jacmel .
Outside the doors you know it's another country. Hundreds of people standing behind a barricade, I don't know why. In the parking lot it became apparent that the driving rules are not like home. People do not wait for other cars to move they just squeeze within millimeters of space to go when and where they want. That's why it is Haitians and the like who drive cabs in the city.
1st pulling onto the road we saw a woman with a huge basket on her head selling cold soda bottles. Yes glass bottles. I can't imagine what that weighed. Followed by another with a bag on her head that was full of water bags. That is how drinking water comes here, in bags. There were taco sellers and fruit sellers, many along that road.
Then we started through port-au-prince. That is where the wreckage began. At first I noticed a man on a porch type area who was sewing. I thought 'how nice to do that outside' a few minutes later after notting a couple more outdoor sewers it hit me…. They HAD to be outside they live in a maybe '20×20 foot cement building with a similar one on each side (aka no windows on the side walls) and no electricity. That was not just for the day. I saw every day.
Then we drove through market areas. The roads were lined with people selling all sorts of things, fruits and veggies banana, papaya, plantain, lemon, lime, sugar cane and many melons. They looked Great! Other people were selling clothes and shoes I believe used items from donation boxes like we have all over town. We saw a few selling mattresses, we teased Beck because he had told us at 4:00 AM meet-up that he is over due a replacement. We saw furniture for sale new and used, and a surprising number of old tires for sale. Chickens and goats some had dead chickens feathers and all! All of this on the side of the road. We saw the huge bags of charcoals for sale this is the country's cooking and heating fuel a big commodity. We saw the men selling the coal they were sitting on the ground with small black hills of coal around them on the ground, the men as black as there goods covered in ash. We saw tent cities most tents just canvass draped to form makeshift walls. We saw people living in homes that were half fallen. I can't really tell more about living conditions, most of them made that dilapidated shed in our yard look like a rich mans cottage. I wish I exadurate there.
As we left the city we saw something strange. I say as if I can comprehend what I saw in the city. We would see little goats tied to a tree in the ditch on the side of the road. No one was around just a goat. A ways down another, sometimes a cow, once a horse.
Another surprise was there are no rules to driving. Nope none! Intersections are there as crosses Ys Vs and other crazy letters but the all important stop sign and stop light are non existent. The rule seems to be keep going your speed through intersection and hope no one else is occupying the space that you are at that time. Break peddle? What break peddle? Where we are going we don't need breaks! Or so it was! Oh that was the speed limit I mentioned earlier. Did you miss it? The speed you are going. That is how fast you go no matter what. Broken down car in front of you, honk while pulling around w/o slowing. Slow truck on zig zag mountain roads, honk while pulling around w/o slowing. People, bikes, or dogs in the was? Honk and hope they move.
The day was amazing! Thank you Lord for getting us safely to the hotel. Thank you for ease of travel and for taking away all of my fear. Help me to continue to look to you and not down at the water beneath my feet. That your plans will be my actions so I will remain carried in your grace. My job is to love here and serve here, help me to break my shell of shyness and selfconconcousness and just give to the kids the overflow of love and pure joy you have given to me. Please bless me with peaceful sleep so I can do your work tomorrow. Jesus name, amen
As I lie here in bed trying to recall and listening to the sounds outside I saw something large crawling on the overhang outside. As I began to worry I saw a second one move close by the first. To my great relief I was able to make out that they are lizards. How cool! I grabbed the camera and took a pic. But alas only the window screen showed up. I don't want to risk further disturbing Alex and opening the door, so I will home to see them tomorrow.